Saturday, May 28, 2011

Semangat yang hilang...

Ya Allah, selesai meeting semalam, terasa seperti kerja-kerja PhD ni semakin banyak dan bercabang-cabang pulak. It's starting to feel like no end is in sight :-( Minda ku sangat penat dan stress. Ditambah lagi, aku kurang sihat minggu ini, kifarah buat aku kerana telah bermalas-malasan minggu lepas.

Kilauan semangat nak ke Turki pun semakin berbalam-balam. Tiket pun belum beli lagi, yuran pun tak jelaskan, tempat tinggal pun tak carik hu..hu..hu.. Macam mana ni ye?? Aduh...lemah betul. Sebenarnya sekarang ni supervisor aku pulak yang terlebih memberi semangat suruh aku pergi. Tapi melihatkan kerja-kerja yang melambak ini, aku rasa macam tawar hati gitu. That, dan mungkin juga sebab aku kecairam uang kut ;-)

Ya Allah, bagaimana mahu mencari semangat yang hilang?! Aku mencari-cari dan ketemu ayat-ayatMU di sini - Az-Zumar,39 : 55-61:

"Dan ikutilah sebaik-baik apa yang telah diturunkan kepadamu(Al-Quran) dari Tuhanmu sebelum datang azab kepadamu secara mendadak, sedang kamu tidak menyedarinya. Agar jangan ada orang yang mengatakan: Alangkah besar penyesalanku atas kelalaianku dalam (menunaikan kewajiban) terhadap Allah, dan sesungguhnya aku termasuk orang-orang yang memperolok-olokkan (agama Allah). Atau (agar jangan) ada yang berkata: sekiranya Allah memberi petunjuk kepadaku tentulah aku termasuk orang-orang yang bertakwa. Atau (agar jangan) ada yang berkata ketika melihat azab: Sekiranya aku dapat kembali (ke dunia), tentu aku termasuk orang-orang yang berbuat baik. Sungguh, "sebenarnya keterangan-keteranganKu telah datang kepadamu, tetapi kamu mendustakannya, malah kamu menyombongkan diri dan termasuk orang kafir. Dan pada hari kiamat engkau akan melihat orang-orang yang berbuat dusta terhadap Allah, wajahnya menghitam. Bukankah neraka Jahannam itu tempat tinggal bagi orang yang menyombongkan diri? Dan Allah menyelamatkan orang-orang yang bertakwa kerana kemenangan mereka. Mereka tidak disentuh oleh azab dan tidak bersedih hati. "

Ini peringatan Allah. It doesn't get any better than that. Jadi aku perlu janji pada diri sendiri - aku perlu pulihkan kesihatan sepenuhnya dan siapkan satu lagi draft chapter sebelum aku menjejakkan kaki ke Istanbul, Insya Allah. Enggak boleh bermalas-malasan lagi! Semoga dipermudahkanNYA, Amin.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Kedekut...

...ilmu. Aku rasa sepanjang hayat ni, I have met my fair share of manusia-manusia yang berperangai begini. Tapi masa PhD lah yang paling teruk sekali. Kenapa aku rasa teruk? Sebab, pertama - mereka-mereka yang buat PhD ni sepatutnya banyak ilmu di dada dan should know better than to be kedekut. Worst kalau depa-depa ni pensyarah. Bukankah pensyarah perlu berkongsi ilmu dengan pelajar-pelajar. Aku pelik sungguh, pensyarah apa kalau perangai sebegini! Kedua, sepertimana yang aku pernah luahkan sebelum ini PhD is an original and solo expedition, jadi personally aku tak nampak masalahnya nak berkongsi ilmu dan pengalaman. Bukan boleh ditepek pun nama kita di atas thesis mereka-mereka tu.

Ya, mungkin orang yang menerima ilmu tu akan lebih dipermudahkan drpd kita. So? Is that a problem? Mana aci kan, betul?! Ya Allah, lupakah mereka-mereka ini, ilmu yang sedikit itu bukan mereka yang empunya. Semuanya ilham drpd Allah swt. Dah kalau Allah tutup pintu hati dan mindanya esok lusa, langsung kekeringan dan kegeringan! Laju jer aku akan kata "Padan Muka" ooppss, mohon Ampun Ya Allah.

Tapi sebenarnya ramai mereka-mereka yang kedekut ilmu ni habis PhD nya. Dan aku tahu ada juga beberapa teman-teman yang baik hati, selalu berkongsi, dan membantu mana yang terdaya tak habis Phdnya. So how? Is that justification untuk kedekut ilmu? Of course, NOT!

Senang jer, in my view again, ilham, ilmu, rezeki, dan yang penting sekali keberkatan kehidupan kita semuanya datang drpd Allah swt. Bagi mereka-mereka yang kedekut ilmu dan selalu mementingkan diri sendiri ini, my view is - today might be your day, tapi in the future, you never knows. Baraqah kah kehidupannya? Hanya Allah yang tahu. Hidup yang baraqah is not about having money, power and recognition. It's whether you realized your stand in life as a mere servant of Allah, and work towards being the best of one. 

Semoga Allah jauhkan kita drpd menjadi orang yang zalim dan menzalimi secara tidak sengaja juga. Amin

Monday, May 23, 2011

An Autumn Celebration

Alhamdulillah, Aliyah turned 7 yesterday. 7 years old is a major milestone in her life-long learning to be the best of Mukmin. May Allah gave us the guidance and persistence to lead and show her and all our children the Way. Amin.  

We actually started celebrating her birthday on Saturday because rain was forecast for Sunday which would make ferrying them around difficult. Anyway, she wanted some Happy Meals toys, so we drove to Brunswick East to one of the few Halal Macdonald's restaurant in Melbourne. She was so happy that all the toys were from the animation movie 'Rio'. She even brought all 3 of them, Pedro, Rafael and Kipo for her show and tell to school today.

We later drove back to the university, because I promised the children that they can feed the ducks. So we stopped by Simpsons Lawn. It was a beautiful sunny day. Autumn was in its full fledged colorful wonders near the Lawn. No need to drive all the way to Bright this year. Everything is just within a few minutes drive from Barnes Way :-D

Luqman sangat suka all the fallen leaves. Even ate a few of them...oooppss.
When I first found out I was having him, we were visiting Bright in Autumn :-)
Well, go figure his attachment with Autumn.

Sure enough, as we strolled down the fallen leaves, we encountered many others who had dropped by to snap a few pictures, evidence of a changing season. There's even a 'lost feathered angel' shooting nearby. Well, don't ask me to explain that. We also met Jep and his 3 DKNY models ..ha..ha..ha.. 


One of Jep's Model of the Day - LTU PhD candidate, Adil (ex-student UiTM Merbok). 
Luqman likes him a lot :-D 

Anyway, as for Jep, I pray one day he'll get paid doing this - taking beautiful shots of Autumn, in this case with us in it. :-D






Pictures - Courtesy JEP. TQVM.

Oh...did I say 3 days of celebration? Well, yesterday, I baked a cake for Aliyah. Looks kinda nice, he..he..he.. but I don't think I am going to open a cake shop any time soon...hu..hu..hu..




As for today, I bought some mini cupcakes and eclairs for Aliyah to celebrate her birthday with her classmates. She seems to have forgotten about the "Princess". She was happily distributing cakes and the eclairs to all her friends in class and later 'showing and telling' the toys she got from the Happy Meals.





May Aliyah be the best that she can be and the best of Mukmins, Insya Allah, Amin.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Kids' Therapy

I must admit that children and PhD do not mix very well. Errr…, to tell you the truth, even the ‘other’ adults in your life and Phd do not blend too. Yet, having them around is definitely worth it. The children, I mean ;-P They are, most of the time oblivious to all the challenges, struggles and heartache you faced, that you can’t help it but be sucked in into their carefree world. In my case they made me strive even harder to finish this journey of mine. And in most of those ‘painful’ times, they provide me with the best kind of stress therapy – the kids’ therapy – tears, laughter, and all sorts of antics in between. :-D

I found him sleeping on his horse one day, a lost Mongolian Prince in his dream ;-P

Any other days, nowadays, he's busy pretending to be Captain Hook,
instead of Peter Pan! He's tired of being Mr Pan ;-)
Some days, they'll suprise me with some tips on relieving stress.
Aliyah: Sorry Mama, we run out of timun!  So I guess playdough would do ;-D
And there are days, when they didn't even notice I am not there ;-P
Alhamdulillah, for Allah's gracious granting me all of you and having faith in me. Love you all to pieces,

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Penyakit

Minggu ini aku didatangi penyakit - penyakit malas!


Hari Isnin kononnya nak mulakan penulisan chapter pasal Australia. Resources semua dah compile. Pastu bila nak mula, belek2, terasa macam banyaknya! Tak tahu nak mula kat mana...Last2nya aku p Commonwealth Bank, utk update status Visa pelajar supaya tak kena charge bulanan.


Hari Selasa kononnya nak qadha lah hasrat semalam. Tapi otak dok berkira2, menapis2 apa nak ditulis ni. Nak tulis secara bodoh atau secara pandai? ;-P Last2nya aku 'sibuk' mem'print' dan kemudiannya meng'compile' Academic Phrasebank utk writing circle.


Hari Rabu kononnya nak bertaubat dan teruskan hasrat kelmarin. Tapi idea masih berserabai. Last2nya aku tunggu kat sekolah Aliyah, tgk dia buat photo shoot gambar sekolah. Sbb ni her first and Insya Allah her last official school photo, so aku kononnya nak make sure she 'looks' fine he..he..he.. sabor jer lah. Cikgu pun pelik tgk napa aku nempel kat situ ;-P


Hari Khamis kononnya nak taubat nasuha, dan soldgier on menaip chapter ni! Tapi pagi2 aku tersangkut dgn cerita 'Dirty Arnie' dan his 'love child'. I was thinking, aduhai, why lah, so much money, no religious foundation, jadi lah 'hampagas'! Last2nya aku rasa 'Arnie' makin kaya, tp chapter aku ni masih tak tertulis jugak!!!


Ok, enough of that! Go back to work YOUUUUU!!!!!


Allahumma ya muyasir, yasirli wala tu'asir

"Ya Allah Yang Maha Memudahkan, mudahkanlah jangan dipersulit" Amin.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Malaysia vs Australia - and boat people 2!

I referred to the issue here once last week. I had refrained from commenting on the matter. It's a big issue here in Australia. Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard's public approval rating fell almost another 4 % after the arrangement to cooperate with Malaysia on settling the boat people problem was announced. It can even be one of the cause of her premiership downfall.

Today, I saw an interview of the Australian Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen with Hamish Macdonald on Channel 10 program - "6.30 pm with George Negus". Aduh rasa macam nak cekik2 jer TV tu, ke nak cekik si Hamish tu he...he...he... Malu wes! Every question he asked was actually spot on! Which even made it lebih memalukan. Siap letak video on how Malaysian "treated" asylum seekers back home. Malu lagi dan MARAH! Nak cerita pun susah. Sedih betul.

Semoga Allah bukakan hati-hati mereka dan jauhkan mereka dan kita semua daripada menjadi orang-orang yang zalim...Amin.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Payment Not Required!

Semalam aku terima bil electrik dr TruEnergy. Di sini bil elektrik dibaca dan dikeluarkan 3 bulan sekali. 2-3 kali gak aku tengok bil tu sambil adjust2 sepek mata. Ada sekali tu masa tahun lepas ada gak aku terima bil yang menyebabkan aku dok tenung 2-3 kali. Masa tu bilnya berbunyi "payment required AUD 500++". Gila! Terkejut beruk aku, beruk pun tak terkejut mcm tu. Mana taknya, selalunya bil elektrik kegunaan rumah ada lah dlm AUD 150-200 untuk 3 bulan. Berpusing2 fikir apa yang banyak sgt yg kami guna sampai kegunaan elektrik naik hampir 3 kali ganda. Masa tu habis semua aku ban, no TV, no drying cloth pakai heater and no electrical equipments should be put on standby. Habis semua aku cabut plug2nya ;-P.


Pastu aku karang surat kat Truenergy kata aku tak mampu nak bayar. So canner? He..he..he. Kat sini ada satu practice yg bagus tau. Walaupun kos utilities nya cekik darah, tp setiap syarikat akan sertakan dlm bil2 mereka, suatu bentuk 'rukhsoh' lah, kalau kita tak mampu nak bayar. Jadi depa akan suruh kita bincang apa payment plan yang sesuai utk kita selesaikan bil2 tu kalau kita kesempitan wang. Which I did!


So depa bg lah payment plan, to be paid setiap 2 minggu sampailah habis bil tu. So I go on that plan, even for my gas bil. Setiap 2 minggu aku bayar bil, instead of 3 bulan sekali utk elektrik atau 2 bulan sekali untuk gas. Air kat Barnes Way free, so lega sikit lah kat situ.


Tak lama lepas tu aku dpt bil elektrik lagi. Tgk2 rupa-rupanya, Truenergy tersalah perkiraan dlm bil yg sebelumnya. So bil sepatutnya dlm AUD 200 jer, bukan AUD 500. Cisss! Aku ingat aku sorang jer fail 'add math' ni. Syarikat sikit punya besar pun boleh kantoi. Nasib baik aku tak sakit jantung baca bil sebelum ni.


Anyway, disebabkan aku takut pisang berbuah dua kali, aku kekalkan plan bayaran 2 minggu sekali tu sehingga sekarang. Cukup tempoh, aku bayar jer. Aku tak tunggu bil pun. At least aku rasa lebih selamat, confirm setiap bulan bil utilities memang telah dijelaskan tanpa perlu mengemis simpati & belas ikhsan depa lagi ;-) Semua measures penjimatan elektrik sebelum2 ini pun diteruskan, especially unplugging everything from being on standy mode.


Jadi berbalik kepada bil yg aku terima semalam. Bilnya berbunyi "payment not required - your account has a credit balance of AUD500++". Mula2 tu mcm tak percaya gak. Dok congak2 apa maksud credit balance. Lepas tu barulah the whole thing sink in. Ini bermakna aku tak payah bil electrik utk selama 4-5 bulan, Insya Allah, sebab aku dah terlebih bayar bil. Alhandulillah, Alhamdulillah, sesungguhnya kepada Allah lah kita senantiasa harus berpaling baik dalam kesenangan mahupun kesusahan. You never know, when some good fortune (or bad ones) will arrive at your doorsteps. Whatever it is, good and bad things happen for a reason, only Allah Knows. We'll just have to have faith :-)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Coldest May?

The Bureau of Meteorology said Melbournians woke up to the Coldest May in 3 years this morning. He..he..he tak perasan pun, sedap tidur ;-). Cuma bila nak bangun Subuh tu terasa lah, kenapa rambut & muka ku kedinginan ni ha..ha.. sebab selalunya kitaorg tidur tak bukak heater, just pakai the thermal blanket jer, so then bila tgk kat phone – heeeee 2-3 degreee. Aik takkan nak winter dah kut …Terus sarung winter ugg boots!


Tapi Aliyah sgt suka bila the weather fall below 10. Bila nak p sekolah, dia kata “Tengok, ma, I can do this”, sambil muncung2kan mulutnya, tiup2 ke udara, waiting for the asap2 berkepul2 keluar dari mulut dia. Pastu bila dah sejuk2 gini dia akan kata “Yeah! Can we go play snow soon?” hu..hu..hu..


Anyway, the bureau predicts the cold spell will only last for another 5 days. ONLY 5 days?! What don’t they just say it will last for another 4 months. Makes no difference, because whatever it is, lepas ni takkan lah dia akan naik ke 18 and above pun. Dahlah kali ini tak boleh nak lari balik kampung he..he..he... Kalau tidak musti supervisor aku akan potong kepara! So I guess kenalah jugak aku p mencari thermal suit and another trench coat to replace my old one. Aduhai… dah lah sejuk, duit pulak keleraian mcm biskut semprit ;-)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Momming!

To all the wonderful mothers out there! Happy Mother’s Day..




Before I was a Mom,
I never tripped over toys
or forgot words to a lullaby.
I didn't worry whether or not my plants were poisonous.
I never thought about immunizations.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never been puked on.
Pooped on.
Chewed on.
Peed on.
I had complete control of my mind and my thoughts.
I slept all night.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held down a screaming child
so doctors could do tests.
Or give shots.
I never looked into teary eyes and cried.
I never got gloriously happy over a simple grin.
I never sat up late hours at night watching a baby sleep.

Before I was a Mom,
I never held a sleeping baby just because I didn't want to put her down.
I never felt my heart break into a million pieces when I couldn't stop the hurt.
I never knew that something so small could affect my life so much.
I never knew that I could love someone so much.
I never knew I would love being a Mom.

Before I was a Mom,
I didn't know the feeling of having my heart outside my body..
I didn't know how special it could feel to feed a hungry baby.
I didn't know that bond between a mother and her child.
I didn't know that something so small
could make me feel so important and happy.

Before I was a Mom,
I had never gotten up in the middle of the night
every 10 minutes to make sure all was okay.
I had never known the warmth, the joy, the love, the heartache,
the wonderment or the satisfaction of being a Mom.
I didn't know I was capable of feeling so much,
before I was a Mom

** Sent to me by an awesome Mom. Thanks Nurrul for an Awesome poem. 
May you and all Awesome mothers always be overwhelmed by the Grace of God rather than by the cares of life. Amin.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Confession of a Sugar Addict...

Yup, I am addicted to sugar! And I am no ant. All carb eventually turned into sugar. And if I keep giving in to my sweet tooth, I might as well turn into one, a chubby ant.

Thesis writing only makes it worst. Sitting in front of the PC for hours and hours, stressing out one sentence after another, always makes me resort to unhealthy snacking for some sort of comfort. With winter fast approaching, I don’t think it’s going to get any better if I let it be. Having a husband who seems to be able to eat anything AND stay fit, is not very comforting. But then again, two reasons why my DH is fit at almost 40 years old, is it’s in his genes and he’s always, almost every day involved in some form of exercise activities.

So I seriously think that the time has come, I really need to lose some weight, get on an exercise plan and slimmed down. I have tried several times before, I think twice before I got married and after I gave birth to Uwais. In all those times, I did reduce a couple of kilos, especially after Uwais was born, but they started piling on again, because I got the wrong impressions that I can eat anything while breastfeeding and not gain weight. That, and the fact that I got lazy and I was offered to do my PhD ;-)

Hahhh…excuses…excuses…they seem to be everywhere. And most of the time, I just gave in. But I am not getting any younger, and I seriously want to try for baby no 4 at a lower weight than when I did with my other children. I almost did that when I was pregnant with Uwais. I found slimming down so easy, when I was lighter to begin with and I did not eventuallly reach that pregnancy weight whereby I need to drink all those sugary water for the gestational diabetes test. HATEABLE test!

I initially start jogging again. I loved to jog, but soon it;s going to be winter. A wintery jog regime would just freeze your face. Even DH can’t stand it. He cut his 4 km run into half when it’s cold. So in order to avoid weather affecting my fitness plan, I invested in an exercise bike in the middle of March. I got online and do some basic research on the do’s and dont’s of getting fit. It turns out that the trick to a successful fitness regime is very Islamic – you need to be ‘wasatiyah’ (moderate) and ‘istiqamah’ (consistent):-D

How so? The key to a healthy life is to eat healthier choice of food and to eat in moderation. No matter how many slimming products or programs you got into, it doesn’t matter, because if you eat more than your body need, you’ll gain weight. Simple. But the hard part is – how do you do that? How to eat in moderation when I am always thinking of what I need to eat next?! These are some of the things I learnt and have been and still struggling to implement on a daily basis:

1) 20 minutes rule

Your brain can only compute what you ate and decided that you have had enough – to survive ;-) – in 20 minutes. That means you’ll never feel full until after 20 minutes have passed since you first start eating. I seriously did know this fact before. I was thinking all this while, if I am still hungry when I start eating round 1, I should be continuing with round 2 soon enough, before the 20 minutes rule have kicked in. So now that I know, I ate less. Stopped at round 1 and waited 20 minutes. It actually worked! Almost all the time, after 20 minutes, I felt full.

2) Eat slowly

‘Fast-eating’ is a life-long bad habit of mine, made even worst in PhD mode, especially when I need to be multitasking at home. Who would have the time to enjoy food time, eating slowly, while running after the children and doing other chores? But it actually make sense to eat slowly, you’ll savour the food better, make the food more digestible and gave the 20 minute rule the chance to kick in, in time for you to stop taking in more food. So I tried this tips, even counting how many times I chewed on my food before swallowing them. Tedious isn’t it? Who said it was easy…

3) Eat every 3 hours

It makes no sense, isn’t it? If you are trying to lose weight, why must you actually eat every 3 hours? This is also something new I learnt. By eating here, I meant – snacking. Having something light, in between the major meals, would boost your metabolic rate and actually helps in weight management. It also avoids you from being over-hungry and has the tendency to eat more during major meals. But you must be careful with the choice of your snack. If you tend to eat all sugary stuff for your snack – it’s not really helpful in losing weight. So now, every time I ventured into the kitchen or fridge, thinking of what I can eat, I always try to reach for whatever available fruits in the fridge. Fruit snacking is the best choice.

Another key to a healthy lifestyle is exercise. It also helps clears your mind and reduces stress - what every PhD thesis writer needs! But as usual, how do you stick to it? How not to be distracted, lazy and making excuses? How to be consistent?



1) Start Small

The writer at ZENHabit suggests that we start small. For starters, 5 minutes a day is sufficient. He’s actually right, because if you aim for 30 minutes when you first start, you’ll find it hard and starting dragging your feet every time it’s exercising time. Further, 5 minutes of spare time is easier to find than 30 minutes, especially in my case, with my two boys being early birds – morning guys. To tell you the truth even at 5 minutes when I first start, I found it painful he..he..he.. 

2) Do it everyday

Another key to success in exercising suggested by ZENHabit, is to consistently do it EVERY DAY. You may increase the exercise time slowly from one week to another. But you must not break it for more than 2 days. So far I have not missed a day. After a while, I considered it as an everyday must to do thing, like brushing your teeth ;-) So the tendency to slumped back into my old lifestyle will be minimise, Insya Allah.

So far I have lost 2 kilos. I have about 5 more kilos to go up to the rest of the year. I may be reaching an exercise-plateau soon which will slow down the slimming down process. This means, I have to raise the bar of my exercise regime, with more intensity and time. I must admit, it is hard work! :-( But if it’s for the better, then I must keep on striving. Shows like the Biggest Loser and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, are some of my biggest inspiration. Watching their shows, it’s no wonder why the world’s population are ballooning – 'the politics of sugar' – the culprit who are turning people into addict!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Stress-Reliever

It's May everybody!!! The days are getting shorter and the temperature is slowly but surely falling below 15. Got two full chapters and two half baked chapters to go. Ooohhh PhD...PhD bila nak habis ni???!!!!

Meanwhile, I am seriously avoiding stress-eating-writing from becoming a habit again. OOO but those Easter Chocolate eggs looks soooo darn tempting :-D. So I tried some other stress-reliever method. This video, found through Academiblog, for instance, is a winner! Now...say whooosaaaa....whooosaaaaa :-D